It all started with the hope of raising money so homeless companion animals from around the nation could have a second chance, a future. And in five short weeks that heartfelt message delivered from PETCO store sales associates to customers had spread so well that a record-breaking $1.3 million was raised to fund hundreds of local animal welfare organizations that provide direct support and hope to companion pets.
All 530 PETCO stores from across the nation joined the PETCO Foundation, a non-profit organization that developed the store fundraiser, in the second annual holiday season "Tree of Hope" campaign. The inaugural year's effort raised $575,000 for more than 200 local animal welfare groups.
"We thank all pet loving people who made the 'Tree of Hope' campaign a tremendous success," said Paul Jolly, the PETCO Foundation's Director. "It is so gratifying to see people give so generously to local animal welfare groups that make life affirming differences in the lives of pets and people," he added.
PETCO customers were given the opportunity to make a $1, $5, $10 or $15 donation in the campaign. Many customers made a donation each time they visited the store during the fundraiser.
How the Money Makes a Difference. Proceeds from "Tree of Hope" will be given to local animal welfare groups that provide services like adoptions, veterinary assistance and spay and neuter programs in their communities. Each store determines which animal welfare organizations to support and all proceeds raised in a local area stay in that community.
Money raised from "Tree of Hope" will be invested in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
-- Canine Companions for Independence, Colorado Springs, CO, fund companion animals for wheelchair-bound disabled individuals; -- Helen Woodward Animal Center, San Diego, CA, fund "AniMeals" program that provides pet food to fixed income senior citizens who might not otherwise be able to afford to feed their pets; -- SPCA of Texas, Dallas, TX, fund animal shelter enhancements so more dogs and cats have an even a better chance for a new home; -- Cedar Rapids K-9 Police, Cedar Rapids, IA, fund bullet proof vests for Police K-9s; -- Greyhound Aid, Chicago, IL, fund programs to find permanent loving homes for greyhounds that would normally be destroyed because their racing careers are over; and -- Heart and Soul, New York, NY, fund emergency veterinary assistance for the animal companions of those with limited incomes.
In all, about 300 animal welfare organizations will receive "Tree of Hope" funds this year.
The PETCO Foundation was established in February 1999 to support community organizations and efforts that enhance the lives of companion animals while strengthening the bond between people and pets. Since inception more than $3.6 million has been raised through a variety of Foundation fundraising efforts in communities where PETCO has stores.
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SOURCE: PETCO Animal Supplies
Contact: Don Cowan, 858-657-2086,